I have a slight obsession with making Wood Shim Flowers – they are so cute! For the #LowesCreator challenge this month, Lowe’s challenged us to bring the outdoors IN. And I thought these Wood Shim Flowers were perfect!!
Here are the ones we made for my Spring Mantel:
We even figured out a way to make three different sizes of Wood Shim Flowers!
Here’s how to make the DIY Wood Shim Flowers:
- Buy some of the awesome shims from Lowe’s – the good contractor ones. They’re bigger and less brittle. Make sure you have plenty of glue or glue sticks.
- For the large flowers, lay out six sets of five, lined up against the thicker end. For medium flowers, lay out six sets of four. For small flowers, you make these in pairs, so lay out six sets of three, but group them in pairs about an inch apart. See pictures 2 and 3.
Get the glue gun warming up while you lay out the shims. (Note: you can use wood glue instead – and it might be more secure, but it will take longer to dry.)
- Glue horizontal shims across each set. As in picture 2, notice that you want to set the horizontal piece more than halfway up from the thick end of the shims because you’ll be cutting a fairly sharp angle. For the smaller flower pairs, see picture 3 – you’ll put two shims across those. Don’t be afraid to move those even a bit closer to the middle than I did. If you square up the left and right ends you’ll have fewer cuts to make later.
- Once your glue has hardened, take your glued shims to your miter saw. You should wear gloves and eye protection. With your saw set at the standard 90 degree angle, trim off the extra horizontal shim piece (the part that hangs off like a handle). Save the pieces you cut off; you can use them later. (See picture 4.) When you cut the small sets of shims, you’ll cut the middles off.
- (Optional: if you want to make your cuts extra smooth, you can quickly trim the thick ends of the shims so the ends are all even, but that just increases your odds of cutting your angles straight later. See Picture 5.)
- For the smaller flowers, you’ll need to cut them in half (see Picture 6) – you will make two flowers out of each set of three shims, which is why you put two shims across each. Cut each now. (For the medium flowers, you might want to trim 2 or 3 inches off of the thin end to make them more proportionately sized.)
- Set your miter saw on a 30 degree angle (see picture 7). (Our old compound miter saw that had seen us through three houses’ worth of crown molding, was acting up, so we picked up a new one a while back that’s a sliding compound miter, making the cuts even smoother.)
- Measure and mark the middle of your uncut shim block – whatever size it is – along the thickest end. (For me, the larger flowers are about 7” wide; the small ones about 4” wide. The medium ones are easy because they’re in sets of four – so the middle is between the third and fourth shims). If you have a saw that has a ruler along the back – and especially if it has a laser to show you where the blade goes – this will go faster, but it doesn’t matter. See Picture 8.
- Lay the shim block with the thickest end towards the back of the saw. Set the saw to cut at the 30-degree angle beginning in the middle where you made the mark (see Picture 9).
- Cut the shim block to make the first half of the bottom of the petal (see Picture 10).
- Flip the shim block over – we’re going to cut the other side of the bottom of the petal now (see picture 11).
- Make sure the shim block is square against the back and that it’s lined up correctly and make the second 30-degree cut (see picture 12).
- Turn the petal so the longest part is against the back of the saw (Picture 13) – lowering the saw with it turned off to see that it’s lined up correctly (or using the laser line) – to cut the same angle horizontally across the back of only the end shim. When it’s lined up correctly, make the cut to look like Picture 14.
- Flip the petal over and repeat the last step to make the other side of the petal. (see pictures 15 and 16)
- You’re done with one petal (see Picture 17) – cut the rest in a similar manner. Note: if you’re like me, sometimes a shim will crack, split or just plain blow apart. Don’t sweat it – just glue some more. Other times one shim will come off from the petal – you can re-glue it later.
- After you’ve cut all of the petals for one flower, you can lay out the flower face-down and use the shims on the back in whatever way seems to work best to hold each flower together. (See pic 18).
- Paint however you like (see pic 19).
Have a CREATIVE Day!
PS — It’s Friday!
My favorite day of the week.
Why?? It’s the time when I can see YOUR great ideas!
I hope you can stop by for the Weekend Wrap Up Party!
I love to feature YOU!
The party starts tonight at 6 pm MST.
Thanks Lowes for the gift cards to make this project.